America’s Next Top Model contestant and Toronto native Chantelle Brown-Young has completely changed the face of the modeling industry. She is drop-dead gorgeous in the most unconventional sense. From first glance, you cannot help but notice her obvious skin disorder. She has been diagnosed with the skin disorder vitiligo at the tender age of four. What started off as a strange patch on her stomach turned into multiple patches all over her body over time.
Growing up, Young experienced bullying due to her skin condition, which caused her to feel insecure about her appearance. In an interview with People magazine, Young discusses her self-esteem issues when she says, “Growing up, it was a fake it till you make it type of thing. I just decided, you know what? I’m going to keep telling myself I’m beautiful until I feel beautiful. And it happened.” Now at the age of 20, Young is a widely recognized model in the fashion industry that was personally handpicked by supermodel Tyra Banks to be a contestant on America’s Next Top Model.
Personally I feel that we need more models like Young in the fashion industry to show young girls that beauty is multidimensional. There is no traditional way of being beautiful, which is what makes people like Young and Lupita Nyong’o stand out in this stringent fashion industry. Times are changing and the thing that makes you most unique is the thing that should be most capitalized on. Young is the epitome of the unconventional beauty because let’s face it, how many models have you seen growing up with vitiligo? If you are having a hard time thinking of one, I rest my case. The media and society has trained us to view the skinny, european, blue eyed, blonde hair woman as the ideal picture of an American beauty. It is okay to have insecurities because at the end of the day those same insecurities are what make you uniquely beautiful.
BY: Felicia Romain